HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Gender & Orientation » Women's World (Group) » Breast cancer is not fun!

Sat Apr 23, 2016, 12:24 PM

Breast cancer is not fun!

I've been posting about my experiences on the Cancer thread under Health, but I thought I would talk about it here. I got my hair cut off yesterday and seeing myself in the mirror with a 1/16th" crew cut is very strange. My ears look twice as big as normal and that is just not good.

I have a really nice wig, and I plan to wear it whenever I go outside, and I also have a collection of head coverings for around the house...the Hubber is totally fine with the full Monty, and sometimes I do that, too.

Chemo is not fun. It's almost time for my second treatment, and I just now got my digestion back to something resembling normal. At least this time I know what to expect. I have great (if expensive) meds for preventing nausea and so far, so good.

Beside the hair loss, the worst side effect is that nothing tastes good! I am a foodie and I love to cook AND eat! The only thing that I've that tastes good is coffee ice-cream; I have a big bowl as my nighttime treat.

I should add that the chemo drugs for my particular type of cancer are supposed to be just about guaranteed to knock it out, so I'm really not even worried about my prognosis...just getting through the chemo with my sense of humor intact is my goal.

7 replies, 2612 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Breast cancer is not fun! (Original post)
PennyK Apr 2016 OP
A Little Weird Apr 2016 #1
BlueMTexpat Apr 2016 #2
PennyK Apr 2016 #3
PennyK Apr 2016 #4
Phentex May 2016 #5
PennyK May 2016 #6
PennyK May 2016 #7

Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Apr 23, 2016, 02:31 PM

1. Hang in there!

I think you're right about maintaining your sense of humor - it's a powerful force!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Apr 23, 2016, 03:21 PM

2. Sending LOTS of good energy your way!

I was VERY fortunate. My breast cancer was discovered during a routine mammogram.

I was in total denial - had NO symptoms whatsoever - but happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right medical personnel who jumped right into action with precision. By the time I was just beginning to accept that I had cancer, the ordeal was effectively over. But I was minus a natural breast and a lot of lymph nodes. I did have a newly reconstructed breast though.

They got everything, so no follow-up radiation, no chemo and no more surgery needed. Oh, SOOOO lucky! The Force was with me. But it took me about six months longer to accept what had happened and to realize what a bullet I had dodged.

May The Force be with you too! May you look chic with your new haircut and glamorous with your wigs! May you soon regain your sense of taste! Most of all, may you regain your health completely, sail through this ordeal, and be able to look back at it and laugh with your sense of humor intact as well!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Apr 23, 2016, 10:16 PM

3. Yes, Time went a little wonky these past few months

I went back to the plastic surgeon who did my breast reduction almost two years ago, about the lump of "scar tissue" that was hurting me. He put me into surgery that night to remove it. Then the next week he told me it was malignant....I had a lot of trouble believing it. He referred me to a big cancer group, and the tests began. Tests here and there and back here again.
Then another surgery to install the port for my chemo and sentinel node.
Chemo began right after that. The sentinel node was clean, and I finally got my stage number, 1...the first good news since the whole thing began.
The chemo itself has been a trip. My digestion has been so messed up. I'm now taking a proton-pump inhibitor and Imodium, and I can finally breathe easier. Another glitch was that they discovered I have a freaking blood clot near the port (seems to happen in about 15% of cases), so now I'm also on blood thinner.
Hoping that my second chemo, and the ones to come, will be a little easier, now that I know what to expect, and have meds to help with the rough stuff.
Thanks for the encouragement and good thoughts!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 08:37 AM

4. Well, results are a little different this round

I had a different long-acting anti-nausea med this time (a free sample of a newer and VERY expensive drug), and it seems to work beautifully. My biggest issue this time is fatigue. I was just tired all day and took a long nap middle of the day. Never really snapped out of it. I guess it's not even worth complaining about - I'm not in any pain...it's just not fun.
I had just enough energy to prepare my Cooks' Illustrated Skillet Lasagne, and even eat a little (yum).
Hoping to feel just a little more awake today.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PennyK (Reply #4)

Sun May 1, 2016, 12:30 PM

5. I am happy it's woring for you...

I remember you talking about your breast reduction but I don't recall much after that. Sounds like you have been through quite a whirlwind of events. And it sounds like you have good doctors!

Keep us posted.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 08:27 AM

6. I went in yesterday for fluids

...and to discuss my general "health" with my doctor, since I've been feeling so yucky.
Surprise! I'm doing GREAT hahah. My particular chemo is strong and everything I'm experiencing is what is expected. After getting the fluids I felt maybe 5% better.I did get a new prescription for a med to help with my digestive issues. It slows down peristalsis and I decided to wait until today to try it, as it sounds like a heavy-duty narcotic.
More fun! Hubby had a glass of wine and asked me to drive my car when we went to the drugstore....it wouldn't start! We looked under the hood and there was all this gross stuff on the battery. Will just call the dealer today as he was befuddled by what he saw...hopefully we can get it towed there. It's 3 years old and has never given me a day's trouble. Oh well.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 08:58 AM

7. Just an update on my situation

Just had my third chemo this past Monday, and I'm doing better than I had expected. Fatigue isn't as bad as last time, and neither is the digestive situation.
Whenever I go to the oncologist's office, whether for my treatment or other, I'm always struck by how awful other people's situations are. Breast cancer is really nothing compared to lung or rectal. I'm SO HAPPY I gave up smoking, because the survival rates for lung cancer are way worse than for breast.
And now I'm just about halfway through my chemo!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread